CSOs fault electoral finances, seek amendment of Act

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By Emmanuel Elebeke

Worried by non compliance of political parties to electoral Act in electoral finances and the inefficiency of the existing electoral laws, a group of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs have demanded the inclusion of the 2010 electoral Act, as amended in the ongoing constitutional amendment.

The group led by Centre for Social Justice, CSJ said that the amendment became necessary because the existing laws in Nigeria have not been fully implemented due to the nature of their provision.

Addressing press men in Abuja, Director of the organizations, Barr. Eze Onyekpere said the present constitution of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, lacks the capacity to oversee the campaign and financial activities of political parties and their candidates as it is already over flooded with a lot of duties and challenges, hence the need for a new body to assist INEC to monitor electoral spendings by politicians.

‘‘We are not satisfied with the existing electoral laws. The laws say, if you spend more that 1m in an election, you are punishable by six months imprisonment but the law failed to instruct any body to monitor this. That is why we say, let us activate this law so that candidates and parties will have an obligation to INEC on how much they spent.

‘‘We should be able to create a new agency that will be solely responsible for campaign activities and finances, running the guideline for reporting, receiving, verifying and examination them , determining their validity and being able to recommend to the law enforcement agencies and possibly prosecute those who have violated the campaign finance law,’’ he said.

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